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Benchmark Stables Crowns Jumper Derby Winners

Chris Johnson and Dutch Martini jumped to a first place finish in the Benchmark Stables Jumper Derby. Hampshire, IL – June 3, 2019 – The Benchmark Stables Jumper Derby Weekend at Liz Atkins’ Benchmark Stables in Hampshire, Illinois, wrapped up a fantastic list of events and awarded the weekend's top performers. Atkins organized a fun and educational weekend to kick off the spring season for trainers, riders and auditors, which included a clinic with USEF Licensed Official Diane Carney. The event finished off with some exciting jumper derby competition that was judged by USEF Licensed Official Sarah Booker of Columbia, Missouri, and incorporated commentary from Carney. The support of incredible sponsors helped to make the event a huge success.

Liz Atkins and Voltaire Design representative Tracy Karambelas presented the award to Chloe Butler and High Altitude for their win in the Voltaire Design Jumper Derby. Chloe Butler and High Altitude earned the first blue ribbon of the day in the Voltaire Design Jumper Derby. Voltaire representative Tracy Karambelas was on hand to present the awards. Butler rides with trainer Andrea Hendricks of Legacy Equestrian Team in Manteno, Illinois. Hannah Fusz and Mr. Polite from Platinum Farm rode to second place, Liz Atkins and Elektra took third, Laura Tommaso and Feliciano finished in fourth and  Elizabeth Stein and Comeback Kid took fifth.  "It's always good to come to a different environment and see how the horse and rider adjust and adapt," commented Hendricks. "This weekend I think Chloe learned a lot and adjusted to the challenging track they had to ride today. I know we have homework to do off of this but it was a great learning experience and fun at the same time."

Emily Lundstrom from ProStride and Brenda Mueller from Marketing4Equestrians present the top prize to Liz Atkins and Carletta in the Lewis Veterinary Services Jumper Derby. #everywinnergetsafern Atkins participated in the clinic as well and rode to the victory in the Lewis Veterinary Services Jumper Derby with Carletta. Professional Cassie Jarchow of RisingStar Stable in Watertown, Wisconsin also brought horses to school with Carney, as the event is not limited to just junior and amateur riders. Jarchow and her mount, Bonnie, took home second place with Nancy Desmedt and her Coronado in third.  "I bring horses to push myself... get out of my comfort zone," said Jarchow. "I like to bring the young/inexperienced horses because of the multiple days, and it's always helpful to have a ground person to see what you dont feel, or to get a new perspective in general. I have a lot of trust in Diane (Carney), and the event itself is put on so well. It's a joy to be there."

Caitie Hope Rose rode Liz Atkins' Johnny Bravo for the derby weekend and placed fifth in the competition. Chris Johnson took the lead in the victory gallop with his Dutch Martini in the Benchmark Stables Jumper Derby after a cheering crowd got the adrenaline going! Jarchow took second on her Casino RSS, not quite fast enough to catch Johnson. Atkins came in third with Rodeo VDL, Skyler Hendricks finished fourth with The Contessa, Caitie Hope Rose and Johnny Bravo  placed fifth with Sam Wagner and L'Etoile in sixth among the extremely competitive group.  "This was just a really good weekend for confidence. We spent time working with Diane (Carney) to rise to the challenge and get our confidence back and it worked out pretty well for us today," said Johnson with a big smile. As always at the Benchmark Stables event, #everywinnergetsafern, special thanks to Showplace Productions for donating the ferns.  If you want to know the story behind the ferns, you have to attend! 

Cassie Jarchow and Caitie Hope took home the award for Best Turned Out Horse and Rider. Atkins included some special awards for the weekend which included the Best Turned Out Horse and Rider sponsored by Cynthia Zitko. Caitie Hope Rose and Cassie Jarchow shared that title with their impeccable turn out. Nancy Desmedt won the Dover Sportsmanship Award and Skyler Hendricks earned the Most Improved Rider Awardsponsored by Pouwer Patties and Sarah Busche.  "You rarely see events like this anymore," commented Atkins. "It's incredibly unique and valuable for riders and trainers to have education and competition in the same setting. The pressure of the competition day is real, and it really tests the rider's ability to apply what they've practiced during the clinic day. I will continue to host this event with the help of my incredible sponsors and the other individuals involved. Plus, we have way too much fun and #everywinnergetsafern!"

Nancy Desmedt won the Dover Sportsmanship Award while Skyler Hendricks,(mounted) won the Most Improved Rider Award. Sunday also featured the fantastic Homestead Veterinary Hospital and Pro-Stride Champagne

Mark Kassels
Mark Kassels, DVM

Brunch during the fun jumper derby competition. Dr, Mark Cassells (PICTURED RIGHT) from Homestead Veterinary Hospital and Pro-Stride representative Karambelas gave a brief information session on benefits of veterinary treatments using the product.  Don’t miss out on the fun filled weekend next year, May 30-31, 2020. Special thanks again to all of our sponsors listed below. For more information visit the Benchmark Stables website at Follow them on Facebook and Instagram!  #doyoumakethemark #everywinnergetsafern! Liz Atkins 847-848-4606 or Clinic coordinator - Brenda Mueller/Marketing4Equestrians  262-391-6630 or

Benchmark Stables 13 N 200 Romke Rd Hampshire, IL 60140




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